On this day in 1913 a young 16yr old woman, Alice Brady, was shot on the afternoon of December 18, 1913, during a protest on Mark Street during the Dublin Lockout, and died shortly afterwards. A convoy of eight coal carts had arrived on Mark Street during the strike and locals protested causing a disturbance which resulted in two shots being fired by one of the strike-breakers named Patrick Traynor, described as a free labourer, with an address in West Essex Street, near Wood Quay.
Alice was hit in the left hand and was brought by a young local girl into her house on 6 Mark Street where a dressing was placed on her wound. From there she was brought to St Patrick Dun’s Hospital and later released, but died a fortnight later on Thursday, January 1st, from lockjaw or tetanus, a not unusual outcome of gunshot wounds at the time, which made the discharging of any firearm a lethal matter.
Traynor’s trial split the city along social class lines and there was outrage when he was eventually found not guilty on a lesser charge by a jury of property owners.
Though aged only 16, Alice Brady was already working in a factory and was a member of the Women Workers’ Union. She lived with her parents in 21a Luke Street, off Townsend Street, and just around the corner from where she was shot in Mark Street.
At her funeral on January 5th, 1914, thousands gathered in Pearse St (then Great Brunswick St) to march in a “sombre funeral procession” to Glasnevin Cemetery. It was reported that 500 members of the Irishwomen Worker’s Union, to which Alice belonged, were in the cortege, which was headed by two bands.
Among those present were James Larkin, Delia Larkin, James Connolly and Countess Markievicz. In his graveside oration, James Larkin praised the courage of Alice Brady and said nothing could surpass the loyalty of the women workers. James Connolly said Alice was “as true a martyr for freedom as any who ever died in Ireland”. As it stands, she is remembered in Dublin only in a plaque in Liberty Hall and on her gravestone in Glasnevin, which reads: “Erected by Federated workers union of Ireland and Irish Transport and General Workers Union in memory of Alice Brady, factory worker age 16, who died January 1st 1914 as a result of civil strife associated with the 1913 lockout.” (Research, John Moran)
I will be presenting a motion to City Council for the erection of a significant plaque in the city to commemorate this young womans short life, and ultimate sacrifice.